(LINA) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for the promotion and protection of homosexuals, Transgender and people living with HIV to end the stigma and discrimination against them and save lives.
“We must close the gaps that keep people from accessing services and living with dignity,” he said in his address at the International Aids Conference in Durban, South Africa recently.
Ban pointed out that 16 years ago, Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, addressed the International AIDS Conference in Durban, describing it as “a gathering of human beings concerned about turning around one of the greatest threats humankind has faced”.
“Madiba brought his towering courage to this cause, supported all people affected by HIV and called for access to treatment, equity and human rights,” he said, adding, “That was a turning point that led to remarkable global progress.”
He indicated that for every one person who received life-saving treatment back then, there are now 17 who have it today, meaning that the number of people treated has increased 17 times at least.
The UN Secretary General noted that 20 million people do not access and 13 million still do not get the care they deserve.
“Today, some countries have no babies born with HIV. But many children living with HIV still lack treatment,” he said.
Ban then called for Durban 2016 to mark the commitment to a new era by finishing the era of a fast-track response, and called for equity, access and justice for people living with HIV everywhere.